Concierge medicine, also known as retainer medicine, is a relationship between a patient and a primary care physician in which the patient pays an annual fee or retainer. This may or may not be in addition to other charges. In exchange for the retainer, doctors agree to provide enhanced care, including principally a commitment to limit patient loads to ensure adequate time and availability for each patient.
The practice has been referred to as concierge medicine, retainer medicine, membership medicine, cash-only practice, and direct care. While all “concierge” medicine practices share similarities, they vary widely in their structure, payment requirements, and form of operation. In particular, they differ in the level of service provided and the fee charged.